Una stanza tutta per sé

The London diary & other adventures

Alleged friends

DJ Shadow – Midnight in a perfect world

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I’ve always been a people person, but the transition from middle to high school played a crucial role in my life.

I didn’t grow up as a beauty queen, in fact my low self esteem constantly gave me incredible headaches in my teenage years: at 14 years old I was surrounded by the most stunning girlfriends and I was living it as a nightmare.
It goes without saying that I regularly played the page part, following them everywhere and invariably remaining in their shadow while trying to gain their attention.

I was lucky enough to not be labelled as the loser or the nerd during my three years of middle school, however, I always felt that I’d ended up having cool friends merely because I was quite enjoyable and I made people feel at ease, definitely not because I was a cool person to go out with.
I wasn’t happy, that’s for sure.
I wanted to be accepted so badly, and in order to accomplish my mission I thought I needed to please my friends, doing anything in my power to instill a positive image of myself in their minds.
I used to dress like them, to use their sayings and expressions, to imitate them as much as I could, although it was quite clear that the part didn’t fit me at all.
All my friends showed an unbelievable self-confidence and pride in their actions, and I was struggling to keep up with them, spending all my energies being someone I was not.

And then one day everything changed, and I guess I could say that music saved me.

Tired of all the rubbish songs that my friends were listening I began to look out for something I could truly enjoy, a sound that I could identify as mine.
No one had to know, and I could easily carry out my research while keeping them in the dark.
So I started to navigate the Internet and I bumped into Napster, a new magical universe full of incredible surprises. I write about Napster as if it was some kind of enchanted kingdom, and that’s exactly what it was for me. I started to spend more and more time online and to “meet” new users; I shared opinions about music and discovered new artists: I was finally speaking with someone who was talking the same language as me, and most of all who wasn’t interested at all in my appearance.

I slowly started to withdrew into myself, finding shelter into my new little community of online friends who could understand me much better than my real-life friends, and I gradually distanced myself from all the people who were making me feel an average, unappreciated, chubby teenager. I began to wear baggy jeans and oversized clothes, to listen to hip hop music and to learn its culture; finally, I was giving myself the chance to be who I really was and not what I thought I should have been.
I immersed myself into a self-discovery journey, into a new way of perceiving myself and the others: for the first time in my life MY happiness was listed in my priorities.

The reluctancy of my alleged real-life friends in accepting my new way of living my life was the final confirmation that I needed to step away from them.
I spent the entire summer between middle and high school chatting online, finding new music and understanding a bit more about myself and what I wanted until finally September and the beginning of the high school arrived.

And that’s when I met A. for the first time.

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